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Am J Emerg Med. 2013 Jun;31(6):964-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2013.02.038. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Examining the risk of methanol poisoning from methyl acetate-containing products.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92103-8925, USA. abminns01@yahoo.com



This retrospective study aims to review California Poison Control System data to qualitatively describe reported methyl acetate (MA) exposures and determine if a metabolic acidosis develops.


We queried the Poison Control System data between January 1997 and December 1, 2010. Inclusion criteria were single MA ingestions.


Eighty-three cases were analyzed. Females made up 52% of study subjects. Seventy-five cases (90%) were 5 years or younger. Most (93%) ingestions were unintentional. Sixty-two cases (75%) were referred to a health care facility (HCF). Of these, 75% of cases referred to an HCF had no effect, and 25% of cases had a minor effect. There were no major effects, including deaths reported. One case received single-dose activated charcoal, and 1 case received intravenous fluids as therapy. All other cases were observed only. Of all cases, including home-managed and HCF cases, 63 (76%) had no symptoms. Vomiting was observed in 12 cases (14%), drowsiness in 1 case, ataxia in 1 case, abdominal pain in 1 case, and throat/oral irritation in 5 cases. Fifty-three percent of cases referred to HCF had at least 1 chemistry panel done (27% had >1 chemistry panel done). One patient had a mild metabolic acidosis without symptoms that resolved after a period of observation. There was no renal dysfunction.


These data suggest that minor ingestions of MA may be observed at home, but a prospective study is needed to exclude the risk of home observation.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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